Ancient British Silver Unit

Ancient British silver unit

The coin pictured here is an Ancient British silver unit, which measures only 13mm in diameter but it’s shown greatly enlarged. It was unearthed very recently by Tyndall Jones, shortly after he had found a gold quarter stater on another field. A few months back Tyndall decided to buy a Minelab Equinox detector and it turned out to be a mighty fine investment, as his find rate has shot up. Fields that previously didn’t produce much now seem to have signals all over the place, which has led to a significant increase in his hammered silver tally. 

He sent greatly enlarged images of the silver unit shortly after it surfaced. Enlargements are ideal for identification purposes but they can make slight defects look far worse than they are. Many years since, when I was dealing in coins, someone sent me enlargements of a group of coins and asked what I would pay for them. I quoted a figure and a few days later a registered package arrived from the sender of the photographs. He said he would accept my offer even though he thought it was on the low side. When I viewed the coins themselves they looked far better than they had in the photographs and I ended up paying the owner 50% more than my initial offer. So, there can be no doubt that Tyndall’s find will look far more handsome than it does in the enlargements. 

It’s a coin of the Atribates and Regni and will date to circa 10-40 AD. On the obverse is COM.F across the centre, with voided crescents and ring and dots above and below. On the reverse is a boar facing right, with a star above and VIR underneath a ground line. In Ancient British Coins (published by Chris Rudd) it is listed as the Verica Smiley type (number 1220) and in the Standard Catalogue it is number 131. Tyndall said he had found only four Celtic coins in many years of detecting but the last two turned up only a couple of months apart.

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